I’ve watched a few things recently and not had time to write about them all, so here’s a handy review roundup:
Wrath of the Titans (2012) – I never saw Clash of the Titans, but that didn’t stop me going along to the sequel no-one seemed to want. Nevertheless I had a surprisingly decent time. Yes it’s dumb, loud, and full of senseless violence – but it knows it. Wrath is a film without pretentions. It gets immediately to the point of telling a straightforward story – Hades captures Zeus, Perseus and friends must go rescue him – and actually does it with minimal dialogue and maximum action.
Unlike recent fantasy films that get bogged down in convoluted back story and pointless side quests – *cough, John Carter, cough* – Wrath plays to it’s audience well. Liam Neeson and Ralph Finnes, put in minimal effort to their acting – which is hilarious, and Sam Worthington gets to stick to his native Australian accent, even though everyone else is British. It’s absurd in a good way. [3/5]
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012) – Aardman doing what they do best. It’s fun for all the family, funny throughout, I found myself laughing out loud quite a lot. It’s full or quirk, charm, and brilliant animation. Superb. [4/5]
The Fighter (2010) – I was a little underwhelmed by this awards contender from 2010/2011. The story of a dysfunctional family, which happens to contain some boxing, it was nowhere near as good as last year’s Warrior – a high melodrama told in an absolutely offbeat and mesmerising style. Christian Bale won an Oscar for overplaying as Mark Wahlberg’s drug addicted brother, trainer, and former boxer. But the star of the show is Amy Adams who proves she has real acting talent. David O. Russel directs in a sub-Scorsese style with clichéd hints of Goodfellas, Ranging Bull and The Departed, which is quite offputting. [2.5/5]
Burlesque (2010) – Another surprise success. Like Wrath of the Titans it plays to its audience. It’s clichéd, overdramatic, and predicable. But Cher is strangely awesome despite her face no longer moving (they avoid close-ups as much as possible) and Christina Aguilera is a surprisingly solid actress. Ultimately, at approaching two hours it’s half hour too-long, but what’s there is solid, and I can see it being the kind of film your mother (well at least mine) would revisit several times a year. [3/5]